|Funding for the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic|
On June 12th 2009, at Mégantic, the honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Governmental Services announced that the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic would have guaranteed funding at the current level for the two upcoming years. A subsidy of almost $520 000 has been granted by Canada Economic Development to the OMM.
The high performance level of the observatory and its large set of observing instruments gave the OMM an international renown. Moreover, thanks to the research contracts obtained, it attracts researchers and specialists from all over the world. It also contributes to improve the innovative effort in the region of Estrie, and to develop scientific culture.
For Joseph Hubert, Associate Dean of Research at the Université de Montréal, this announcement is very welcomed on several grounds: “The OMM is a unique place. Hundreds of students from UdeM and ULaval were formed there since its creation in 1978 and the cutting-edge research they perform is very productive both scientifically and for direct application, in multiple domains”, explains Mr. Hubert. “The exceptional support of the surrounding communities, which allowed the development of the first International Night Sky Reserve, is also a major benefit to the observatory. We are very pleased by the continuing support of the Canadian government in the pursuit of teaching, research and public outreach in astronomy at Mégantic.”
The Minister Paradis said he was delighted that the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic can continue its activities. He pointed out that the participants from the MRC du Granit and Haut-Saint-François, as well as the general public, acted in favour of this unique place. “The government of Canada is dedicated to help communities, like that of Lac-Mégantic, which are fighting against the actual economic crisis. The observatory, which attracts about 20 000 visitors per year in Estrie and generates profits for diverse economic sectors, represents an economical and touristic development force in the region”, he declared.
The financial support of the Canadian government comes from the “Fonds d’Adaptation des Collectivités” (Communities Adaptation Fund), as part of the Canadian economic actions plan. It is designed to diminish, on short time-scale, the impact of the actual economic crisis, by creating employment and by facilitating the transition and adjustments of communities and of restructuring industries. The fraction of the fund attributed to Canada Economic Development is about 212 millions dollars over a period of two years.
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